This part two of our series talking about the changing landscape of the mobile website. Part one can be read here Mobile Website or Mobile App.
This section we will talk about the problems of having both a mobile website and a mobile app. I want to say load and clear I think having a mobile app is great and if you’re willing to deal with the struggles. I admire anyone willing to deal with the bugs and issues in software. There will defiantly be issues and challenges when maintaining both a mobile app and a mobile website.
The first issue with a mobile app is keeping your app up to date with content from your site. Some mobile apps will not or cannot pull content or data from your site automatically and display it on your app. In some cases, you may have to first publish the content on your website then on your mobile app. This is not always the situation, some app developers can setup an app to pull in data from your website but not always.
Platforms like WordPress are great because they offer a website and a responsive mobile website right from the start. There are even some WordPress plugins like the one shown below that can turn your site into a publishable mobile app and post to the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
The other issue with a mobile app is keeping up with features in multiple places. Just like with content if you offer features on your site you’re going to need to offer them on your mobile app. A WordPress plugin is easy to install and adds features on your website it may not be as easy to do with an app. Most Apple Apps are programmed using Swift and Android apps are written in Java if you’re not a programmer it may get difficult to add features without any additional cost of help from a programmer. WordPress is the easiest way to maintain both a website and mobile website experience in one place it may even work for a simple app as well depending on your site’s needs.
Some major blog companies like The Verge have mentioned in several posts that they are focusing on Verge 3.0 a large effort based on their mobile website experience. The Windows Supersites Thurrott.com made mention in their recent podcast about focusing on their mobile website and are not even considering a mobile app on any platform at this time.
The other reason a mobile website at times is more important than an app is the way we search has changed, products like Amazon Echo, Cortana, Siri and Google Home added voice command searching to our daily life’s, eliminating the need for a mobile app altogether in some cases.
The addition of mobile messaging changed the search industry Facebook Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, iMessage and Google Hangouts (Allo) made responsive mobile websites even more important than a mobile app as we share links with family and friends using messengers on our phones.
A change is starting to happen in the way we search either with mobile, voice commands or on the desktop a responsive mobile website is one of the most important features of that every website needs and should have regardless of if you have a mobile app.
Part 3 of our series will be coming soon